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Tribute to Sen. Robert Byrd

Series/Special. Remembering the late Senator from West Virginia. New.

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Robert Byrd 23, Byrd 12, Baker 12, West Virginia 6, U.s. 6, Washington 6, Howard Baker 5, Jimmy Carter 4, Panama 3, America 3, Virginia 3, Ira 3, John F. Kennedy 3, Johnson 3, Lyndon Johnson 3, Mcconnell 3, David Corbin 3, Chrysler 2, Us 2, Texas 2,
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  CSPAN    Tribute to Sen. Robert Byrd    Series/Special. Remembering the  
   late Senator from West Virginia. New.  

    December 22, 2012
    8:00 - 9:05pm EST  

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a short video. it's c-span's student cam video competition. there are 50,000 in total >> tonight on c-span, the life and legacy of senator robert byrd. first, an announcement by south carolina governor nikki haley. followed by a farewell speech. and later senator kay bailey hutchison's farewell address. next, a tribute to the late senator robert byrd on what would have been his 95th birthday. he was the longest u.s. serving member. he was elected to the house of representatives in 1952 and the
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u.s. senate in 1958. two former staffers, ira schapiro and david corbin, talked about the senator's life. next on c-span, nikki haley. >> the first speaker is irish schapiro. -- ira shapiro. he played important roles in foreign intelligence surveillance and the completing of the metrorail system. during the clinton administration, it he served as a leading u.s. trader and .arned the rank of staff thaman he was described as antidote and he promised to deliver.
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he practiced international trade law and washington. on behalf of the west virginia state society, i would like to introduce ira shapiro. [applause] >> thank you for the kind introduction. thank you to the society for giving me the chance to be here. thanks to mike who did so much to organize the event. he is an old friend. thank you, mike. i'm delighted to be here today with corbin. we have two books that talk about robert byrd from different perspectives. my book is basically about the senate and the last great senate as i refer to it. senator byrd was the majority leader during the period of time i wrote about. it gives you an ensemble sense of how the senate works.
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the book originated in 2008. i had been in the senate in the 1970s and 1980s. by 2008, i decided the senate had become utterly unrecognizable to me. polarized and paralyzed, really quite dysfunctional. i decided to write a book about the senate when it was great, specifically when i was there. [laughter] when you do something like that , you have a certain risk factor. was it really great? was it only seem great because i was there or because i was young? fortunately, the answer turned out to be, no. i discovered something that was there in plain sight, but had not been noticed. if you googled the words "great senate" you'll find nothing
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other than my book. [laughter] nobody had ever noticed a great senate. certainly there are great senators and great filibusters, but a great senate had never been thought about. the reader reviews said of the book said today's senate is not a very good, but in 1960s and 1970s, we had a great senate. i'm delighted they agreed with me. from about 1963 to 1980, we had a great senate in america was that -- that was in the forefront of everything. from holding president nixon accountable and watergate, every a congressman of the senate. in the middle of that senate was robert c. byrd. by the way, for those of you who
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want to write a book, having a publisher is a good thing. writing a book looking for a publisher later is not a good thing. i was very fortunate. i publisher said to me, all right, we will let you write the book. it cannot be a memoir. all right. can i pop up in the book occasionally? yeah, twice. the publisher said, it is narrated history. you need to tell a story. ok. i can tell stories. you cannot walk through this whole 18 year period. find a way to tell it. i said, all right. i decided to tell a story from the late 1970s leading up to
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that 1980s. america is beginning its third century. we have a new president, jimmy carter. we also have two new senate leaders, robert byrd and robert boehner. by the way, i'm an honorary member of the west virginia state society. i have worked for robert byrd and rockefeller. byrd iniface to face with writing this book. as many of you know, senator byrd was truly a remarkable story. the senate has always had its share of wealthy people, but it has also had people that have come from ordinary circumstances or from poverty. no one ever can further than
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robert byrd. he was born in north carolina. his mother died shortly after his birth. he was raised by his mother's sister. he was renamed robert carlyle byrd. he grew up on the edge of poverty. his rise was astonishing. he was driven primarily by this incredible will that he had and nursed for education. -- thirst for education. he was embarrassed to did not finish college, so he finished law school instead. he went on and on. the idea of senator byrd as majority leader of the senate is quite remarkable. he came into the senate with the
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great class of 1958. they set the foundation for what i call the great senate that came later, the progressive senate. it was a democratic landslide that your. -- year. he was undeniably the most conservative of senators elected. whole flood of liberal senators and then there was robert byrd. it was not his youthful membership that was the issue. in later years, he remained against civil rights, which was essential thing the senate was about in the 1960s. he opposes civil rights act in 19641965. he opposed martial -- in 1964 and 1965. he oppose
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richard nixon toyed with putting him on the supreme court just to show the senate what he could do. senator byrd moderated his views all the time. he got lucky. issues that result on civil rights -- you got resolved on civil rights. senator byrd that's on the leadership ladder and he rises -- gets on the leadership ladder and he rises. he becomes the with in a stealth campaign. -- whip in a stealth campaign. the idea of robert byrd as leader goes from being inconceivable to virtually inevitable. he has earned his way up to be leader. at the beginning of my book, he becomes leader and replaces mike mansfield, who is sort of an icon.
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can replaces byrd mike mansfield. but the truth is, no one thought that mike mansfield could replace lyndon johnson. that is certain the way things work. as my book starts, the first chapter is about byrd. it is entitled "the grind." he is a hard-working. robert byrd has a concept of what a senate leader should be. moves on thely were concept. he hates to be referred as the senate mechanic. a cotton to the leader's role -- it got him to the leader's role, but he wants to get into foreign policy. one of the first things he does is he reaches out to one of the
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senator full rightbrights. he gets a call from senator byrd's office. they ask him to come in interview. he is stunned. he does not think senator byrd cares about or and policy. -- foreign policy. senator byrd convinces him he wants to be involved in foreign policy. as the book unfolds and as i learned about it, it is amazing to see how strong he is on foreign policy almost from the beginning. he plays this phenomenally important role. it is not just who has the votes, but he understands the substance better than anyone else. they all went down to panama, but he leads one of the first trips. he goes down there and he
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learns the panama issues. he brought the same dedication to every issue. one thing i say in the book is he knew that just being leader did not make you a great senator automatically. whoever heard of scott lucas and william nolan, senate majority leaders before lyndon johnson. you never heard of them because they did not do anything. robert byrd brought that extra dimension to it, the foreign policy knowledge. the second thing about him as leader was he really understood the importance of a relationship with the president of the united states. byrd was ambivalent about jimmy carter. there were some problems with
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him. carter was an outsider. he did not really like politics or the hill. senator byrd regarded his role as leader of the senate, but also a person who basically was an advisor to the president, helped the president, he improved his programs. the book shows senator byrd helping carter through virtually every issue from the panama canal treaties to the energy legislation where byrd worked tirelessly on it to get it done without a filibuster. he had the sense that the senate leader should have a special relationship with the president and that is the way the system was supposed to work. of course, the most important in for the senate leader is to
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make the senate work. byrd knew the senate rules better than any person that ever lived. he lived in dealing with the notion of the fear of a paralyzed senate. he wanted to think that the rules worked, but he knew that in fact jim allen of alabama had cracked the code. he had figured out how to have this filibuster so the senate could be tied up in paralyzed. robert byrd like to think you have to be an expert to do this , but it turned out you do not need to be an expert at all. a couple of senators did not know the rules and they tied the senate up. byrd struggled with the notion of how to keep the unique character of the senate without having a paralyzed? in that regard, he championed rules change.
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he got some done in 1979. he knew that the senate rules do not work. if they were not fixed, eventually the senate would become paralyzed. he dealt with it through his own skill and through rule changes. the last thing i will say about senator byrd as a leader, and it is very important about the senate and the late senate's dysfunction, he was fundamentally not a partisan. he was a democrat, no question about it. the senate was not partisan. he treated people evenhandedly. the dealings he had with baker are quite extraordinary to read. howard baker, oath byrd and baker on the cover of my book because they were both -- both
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of byrd and baker are on the cover of my book because they're both great senators. it is not just symbolic. they really worked together. they never surprised each other , but they did more than that. they work together to make the senate work. that there was a filibuster, they work together to work around it. there were not many filibusters , but they fundamentally were not partisans. there are many stories about senator byrd in the book that i will not go into. i would rather you be the book. -- read the book. chrysler, the senate is trying to bail out chrysler. there is a hot tempered effort from connecticut, a republican. he is really against it and
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threatening to filibuster. they cannot talk him out of it. robert byrd all of a sudden leaves the senate floor unannounced. he startles everybody there. he goes in to talk to him. he comes on the filibuster is over. ryker is satisfied and has had enough time to talk. that is the way they did things. i was recently -- i have the opportunity to speak at a lot of places. i have to say it is a a lot nicer here. you do not have to get on an airplane. it is nice to be here. recently i had a special occasion. i was in knoxville, tennessee.
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senator baker was not in good health. he is 87. he came to the program. it was a wonderful location. eight -- it was a wonderful occasion. for me, it is impossible to think about senator byrd and senator baker without thinking about our current leaders. there are contrast. senator reed and senator mcconnell did not create the hyper partisan senate. they inherited it, basically. they certainly have not done anything to reverse the situation. instead it has gotten worse. i think senator mcconnell really bears if this special -- the special responsibility. he is the architect and the
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symbol of a policy of absolute attraction -- obstruction. the structure and began at the beginning -- the obstruction began at the beginning of president obama's presidency. it is utterly impossible for me to conceive of senate leaders that i grew up with being as different as it can be from howard baker or any of the great leaders. i think it is contrary to the way that the senate worked when it worked at its best. the senate is supposed to be the national media aretor. that is a place where the parties come together and reconcile and not inflame differences. it does not work that way at all in the past -- in a long period of time.
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the frustration i have the senator mcconnell is number one, he deepened the problem. he has driven the senate to a much lower poiny. -- point. number two, he knows better than that. if you read an interview he did with politico, he said that he rises above partisan as hiism. he mentioned his role model is senator john sherman cooper, a great republican senator. he knows what you are supposed to do in the senate, but it was simply a conscious strategy not to do it. i think that is a real problem. it has injured the senate. it is damaged the country. assuming we have a deeply divided country and a very political culture, that is what
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the senate is supposed to rise above. that is what they are therefore. they are not there to reflect the differences. scott this gerald a misty wrote -- scott fitzgerald famously wrote, there are no second acts in lives. that is on. we have all had second acts and second chances, etc. i hope that this congress will do a good second act and be more like john sherman cooper or the great howard baker or the great robert byrd we celebrate today. thank you. [applause] >> i neglected to mention prior to the presentation is that we will take some question and
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answers at the end. it is my pleasure to now introduce to you david corbin, author of " the last great senator." served as senatorin byrd's speechwriter. corbin is the editor and author of life, work, and rebellion in the southern west virginia min es. received his phd from the university of maryland. result for m please join me in welcoming david corbin. [applause] thank you. thank you to the west virginia
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state society for hosting this event. thank you to ira for the great title. i've been playing around with my book for a few decades. he was the senate minority leader at the time. ira started in 2008, but he came up with the perfect title. appreciate it. i came to work and frankly, i do not know what to expect. i'm from west virginia. as an undergraduate, i was heavily involved in anti-war. i was engaged in some protests
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and a demonstration for the vietnam war. i started to work for byrd and had no idea how he would respond with. i was one of those liberal protesters he he is always denouncing. one time he called the protests a " human circus." i was working for him. there was a story of how a west virginia and and my boss were standing up for the crew. i know there are efforts to date to per trade reagan as a ortray reagan.r trade reaga
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had it not been for byrd, the whole thing would have been a disastrous administration. at any rate, byrd was nothing like i had read about. i learned there is so much misinformation about him. i also learned that he is the most complex person. he is one thing -- there is no simple analysis to the man. the more i researched, i realized a book about him could go in many directions. there was so much. you could write a book on any aspect.
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as ira has done, his senate leadership is a book in itself. there are two guiding objectives for the book -- i wanted a book that would place byrd and give him his rightful lace in american history. think about it. no other person has been involved in so much history on the stage for so long a period as birbyrd. or 60 years, he was involved in every significant event. this goes back to the cold war, vietnam, the civil rights movement, watergate. the list goes on forever. iran-contra.
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all it is historical events. make no mistake about it, he is being left out of history. one example of the hundreds of books on nixon and watergate come not one of them mentions byrd's exposing the watergate cover-up. it was recognized at the time that byrd was the unsung hero of watergate. he was never given credit for his role in exposing the watergate cover-up. he was also the one who connected the watergate to the white house and the oval office itself. john f. kennedy and the kennedy administration, not one of them talks about the relationship that byrd and kennedy
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established. most of us talk about the bird opposition to the kennedy primary. -- byrd opposition to the kennedy primary. was kennedy gets the nomination , byrd goes out campaigning for him. he goes down to the southern baptist in texas and they were serious for lyndon johnson being on the ticket with hannity, who was catholic. of johnson and john f. kennedy intubated their victory in the 1960s election with robert byrd does he help -- robert byrd's help in north carolina and
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texas. the second objective -- i is a legend.uyyrd outside of washington, d.c., he is little loan, much less respected. that is something i want to correct across the country. i knew history biography would not serve the purpose. there is an effort being made to portray byrd who gave nice species -- speeches about the constitution. there is so much more to the guy. throughout his career, he was a fighter. he had to fight for everything he got.
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there are some who say he never faced a tough opponent. that is ridiculous. despite opposition, he takes on say that two most powerful machines and he wins every election. he gets to the u.s. senate, he climbs the leadership ladder and defeats prominent liberal senators. he selected the senate whip by ousting ted kennedy. he defeated former vice president of the united states,
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hubert. it is always a fight for byrd. had to fight for everything he got for west virginia. he had to fight. the trouble is, what direction to take the book in? how to convey these two objectives? it came to me while sitting on the senate floor when he delivered his speech. to celebrate his 50 years of senate and the u.s. senate. the floor staff asked us to wait a few minutes since the senat ors were on their way there. they wanted to hear byrd talk.
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we discussed these incidents. he kept relating to the presidency. i worked with this president. he worked with jimmy carter. it started dawning on me -- the presidents. after the speech, it donned on me -- no other person in american history has had an impact on so many presidential administrations. he has impacted 11 presidents. and that is one for ball president in american history. -- 1/4 of presidents in american history. i could achieve my major objectives by putting him on
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the stage and also try to make the book appeal to people outside of west virginia. but massachusetts may not buy a yrd, but theyt wooburd would on robert kennedy. people in california may not buy a book on robert byrd, but they may buy a book on presidents. there is written on the back, i hope this book is a must read about robert byrd and the american presidency. baker caught what i was trying to convey. i was trying to make byrd appealed to the people outside of west virginia. another objective is important
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insights into each presidential administration. historians portray the happy days and everybody liked ike. when you read my chapter, you read when robert byrd is trying to help west virginia. miners were out of work and bird was trying to help the state -- byrd was trying to help the state. since the farewell address, there has been talk about the industrial complex. it took me eight years to
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realize there was an industrial on plex. but -- complex, but anyway, the kennedy administration talked about how they work together. not one book mentions this. a johnson-nixon administrations, think about this. you have a liberal democrat, johnson, and the other was a conservative republican, nixon. byrd is friends with both of helps them to get legislation enacted. byrd goes after them hard. you can read the chapter when
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byrd goes after johnson. byrd certainly helps drive nixon out of office. when you cross a constitutional line, byrd goes after you. it did not matter whether he liked you and nor not. the memorial service for byrd in west virginia, this is where clinton said there is nothing he would not have done for you, meaning the people of west virginia as long as you did not cross the constitutional line. a powerful statement. one of the administration i talked about is the carter administration. workyou look at byrd's with president carter, you realize how much legislation is accomplished in those congresses. incredible.
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carter's failures are basically external. oil and cargo driving up inflation are beyond carter's control. but what carter and bird did, he was a difficult -- byrd did, carter was a difficult person, but they were able to bring together. it was a truly successful administration legislatively. the second time since george washington -- the most important environmental laws we have today came out of the carter administration. carter enacted an energy program, which if reagan had not wiped out come would have saved us the problems you are having today.
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but reagan wiped it out. ira is correct to talk about the congress of the last great senate. byrd's first two terms as senate majority leader, it was byrd who made it happen. i thank ira for the title. thank you. [applause] >> at this time we will take a couple of questions. >> tell me, dave, what
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president did you enjoy writing about the most that senator byrd served with? >> kennedy. my two favorite people in history is robert byrd and john f. kennedy. i have always had an affection for kennedy. it showed the country that a catholic could carry west virginia and could carry the nation. tate.dy blanketed the sam he went all over the state campaigning. i remember leaving my bike against a parking meter.
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after the speech, i went to get my bike. my bike was parked in the limousine where he was part i started asking questions -- where he was parked. i started asking questions. a looks at me and ask, where is nitro? he goes, nitro? i point that way. anyway, i have always had an affectiona for kennedy. byrd opposed kennedy in the 1960s primary. that is not where they established a relationship. when byrd was serving as a senator, there was a reference
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to the star partnership -- to the partnership. it was not until i wrote this chapter that i realized how close they were to gather. -- together. you will see it in the chapter, hopefully. >> i was struck by this quote by senator baker on the back on your book of how senator byrd and he made an agreement to work together to make the senate operate efficiently. it was an agreement they never broke. how is that possible? >> they kept each other informed of everything they were doing. they fought on a couple issues. it is not that they do not fight or have differences. but they did keep each other informed. bob dole replaced howard baker as a speaker.
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dole takes over maker as leader . -- baker as leader. but they kept baker informed. they just work together and kept each other in touch of what the other was great to do. they still opposed each other at times. they kept no secrets. >> i always like to talk about byrd and baker. they really did epitomize the great senate and the way things worked at that time. the first two chapters of my book are entitled "the grind" and "the natural."
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he was a most natural politician you could come across. it senators voted on the secret alec, aker would have -- based on secret ballot, baker would have onwon. they had a remarkable capacity for doing that. there is one incident in my book where i describe senator erred -- where i describe senator byrd. it is such an unusual act, it he gets the vice president in the chair and by a script that byrd has written, start ruling them out of order in a way that is quite contrary to the way the senate work. there is a rebellion on the senate floor. everyone is going crazy and what robert byrd is doing even though they hate filibusters.
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one thing that was very striking, byrd made a surprise. he had told howard baker in all of the republicans, he had all of the leaders aware of exactly what he was going to do. it was a very impressive thing. on the back of my book is a funny story for those who like book stories. authors always like that. my publishers did a great job on the book. they sent me this cover and said everyone loves it. nobody i have shown it to loves it. the reason is because it was a picture of two senators walking into a room with their backs to you. it was byrd and baker in transition in the 1980s. it is a very evocative picture, but it would have been a terrible cover. it is on the back cover of my book. they did really treat each other
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with extraordinary openness basically. --when heyour book competed for majority leader? >> it is a great incident. senator byrd basically had all of the votes lined up to be majority leader. senator humphrey was a beloved figure among democrats. he had an important habit of always reaching for the next rung. he was not very realistic about some of it. he was also sick in early 1977. he decided to stay in the challenge against robert byrd for the very last day and then he abruptly pulled out when he
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belies to could not win. -- realized he could not win. robert byrd understood that a lot of senators loved humphrey. while he took leadership, he found a way to make concrete deputy pro-tempore. that leadership and diffuse that feeling of being -- and running over humphrey and some with. it was a very good start. -- in some way. it was a very good start. >> do think there will be a culture change in the senate? one of the people who came in and spoke briefly talk about someone who was blind and had an icing.. dog.d an eye seeing
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the dog had never been on the senate floor before. senator byrd was the only person who objected. he wanted to have security on a dog entering the senate floor. that was retold to me. this person described this with a certain amount of, i could not believe he would do that. i view that as a body being based on precedents. >> they would not let the staff are doing. they would not allow computers on the floor. -- they would not let the staff er do it. they would not allow computers
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on the floor. >> ioa say that -- i always say that things change. starting with the fact that the senate is televised. when i started in the senate, it was not televised. if senators and the staff wanted to know what was going on in the senate, you wandered over to the senate. senators would go over and go to the committees in the morning and have lunch and then they wandered over to the senate. they hung out. they were on the floor or in the cloak room. there was a huge amount of social interaction, which is lacking now as we know. one is the technology and the other is the demand and fundraising. they spend so much time raising
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money and the do not have time to spend together. everything is different. nothing about the sun is better other than the influx -- nothing about the senate is better other than the influx of women. the fact that we have 20 now, which is a record, that makes a big difference. on the other hand, the hyper partisan senate is interesting. i number of people have said over time, boy, the senators must not like your book. they're fine with the book. they do not think much of the senate. [laughter] my sympathy extends to a certain point. have the power to change it. it does not have to be the way that it is.
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>> i want to go back to edit point -- to a point that he made. it was a laid oeave out, tough race. they gave the vote count and everything else. kennedy started working for five years to make sure byrd never becomes majority leader. he interviews a number of people. he does not want to take byrd onto himself. he is looking for a person to take on. a lot of people are predicting humphrey's victory.
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he had tremendous support. it was not a given election for byrd. the great thing is byrd's election to senate majority leader five months later, humphrey goes on the floor and talks about what a great s.jority leader erred er byrd i this guy is great. ted kennedy comes out and says the same thing. robert byrd is the best majority leader in the senate. i think it all becagan with the kennedy speech. he got done the environmental laws.
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>> i have a question for both of you getting back to the hyper partisanship of the senate now. this is why we speculate a little bit. how did you think senator byrd would respond now to the idea of changing the senate rules, especially around the use of filibuster? >> i think it is clear that senator byrd would favor certain changes of the rules. he favored certain changes of the rules and got them done to shorten amount -- the amount of time of the filibusters. at the time he wanted to eliminate idea of filibustering -motions.
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the thing that i really admire about senator byrd is that he loved the senate, but he was not blind to the problems. i think senator byrd would be among those who would come forward to find ways to try to put the filibuster back in the box so that you had -- so that a filibuster would be rare. it might people to come to the floor instead of indicating they will go to filibuster. i also think senator byrd would be very angry at the way nominations are handled now. if you look at the numbers, they are quite startling. during the presidency of jimmy carter to george w. bush, 79-93% of the residential nominees were confirmed.
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under president obama's administration, a discipline not right for the senate to just block nominations and never vote on them. but that has become part of the routine up structure and. -- obstructure. i do not think robert byrd would have put up with that. that is a change. there is a story that illustrates so much of what david said about byrd being a complex figure. senator byrd was extremely complex. he is a very proud man. he was very sure and how he wanted to be treated. he had this relationship with carter. they worked together on a lot of things. that relationship was torn the night of the hostage rescue
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mission. senator byrd was in the white house that night at the oval office of carter. herder outlined the idea of the mission -- carter outlined the idea of the mission without telling byrd. that was such a betrayal, it was simply a horrible mistake by carter to have not told senator byrd, who had done so much for him. that tour their friendship -- tore the relationship. >> byrd worked so hard for carter and for carter not to tell him, you're absolutely right. he went through 12 different military scenarios, and that was one. the next day he was furious
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internally. but his public persona, you supported the president in this crisis. -- he supported the president in this crisis. he appeared cool, but people knew underneath he was livid about it. >> the information about -- that misinformation about the national state, and give us one example where senator byrd's role was underachieved or underreported or misunderstood by america. >> i can give you a couple actually. one is personality wise. there is a race issue. if you take the fax out of context -- facts out of context
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-- he did vote against marshall . he did not want a liberal activists on the u.s. supreme court. the constitution comes first. he wants strict interpreters who would adhere to the law. he voted against thurgood marshall. he did not want a liberal activists. the race issues, too. he voted against the civil rights bill. back it up a little bit. 1960, the senate was considering of legislation to
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abolish: tax. erred when against it. -- to abolish coal tax. byrd voted against it. byrd tried to explain he was not opposed to the intent of the legislation, but it goes against the state rights. therefore, congress cannot step byrd said to do it right. he said he could not vote on it if it was going to be done this way. two years later, congress comes back with a constitutional amendment and byrd voted for it. he voted for it once they did it right with a constitutional
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amendment. he filibustered, it is true. there was a 14 hour filibuster. read through the thing. everyone points out him being racist. read throughout the filibuster. there is not one racial thing. the whole thing is basically constitutional law. he makes clear to make it right before he can support it. agrees that there should be no discrimination in the standards. the objective sought -- the objective here is a worthy one. he concurs with the objective.
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here he is talking about literacy tests. he opposed them- on that measure. it proposes two different ways to do this constitutionally. that is what is left out. congress could do that. >> that constitutes concerns. people said he voted against every civil rights measure. no, he didn't. he voted for 60 civil rights bill. the votes are numbered. when he's senate majority leader he gets two, if it hadn't been for about bird.
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the more telling thing when you talk about a segregationist background, when he comes through the senate in 1959, only 19 offices in the entire congress are integrated. only 19 out of 534 offices are integrated. bird is one of the 19. he's one of the 19, when the naacp lawyers come to byrd's office to lobby for the civil rights bill and byrd opposes it, they're stunned to be greeted by african-american staffers. when they submit the number of officers voting for the civil rights bill, totally white. byrd is one who integrated the capitol hill police force. he appointed patriot powers and appointed the first african-american and the second african-american to the police force. byrd is the one who integrated the capitol hill police force. the washington starr said how can you call this guy a racist?
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i can go on with example after example. if you pull things out of context, yeah, like his conservative background, when they talk about being racist conservative. the majority issues, that's why he voted that way, not because he's conservative, because the issue, as byrd said to me, i never changed, the issues changed. the very first thing when he's elected to congress, the very first thing he does is propose this legislation through the taft harley act, anti-union, anti-labor act. that's his first legislation, before sputnik, even, he supports federal education. he supports a number of liberal issues. there are more conservative issues thates vetoing for, but not because he's conservative. does that answer your question? [laughter] >> a history lesson. >> the point i was trying to make is if you look at his total record, i can go on forever, but it's scattered
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throughout the book, in the obama chapter, there's an enborsement of president obama. everyone said he changed. no, he's always been consistent on this. >> any other questions? all right. well, thank you both so much for joining us. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> next on c-span, south carolina governor nicky haley announce are her replacement for senator jim demint's seat as well as demint's farewell spenchings and later kay bailey hutchison delivers her fairwell
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address. tomorrow on "washington journal" we'll talk about the latest news surrounding the so-called fiscal cliff with role call columnist dan collender and joshua gordon. and then we're joined by the authors of "the end of the line." romney versus obama and the 34 days that decided the election. our guest are senior white house report glenn thrush and jonathan martin. "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. >> if you worked for him you'd get a mercurial, sometimes generous, sometimes overbearing, sometimes almost cruel boss, who didn't know how to apologize. which men of his age and class